I remember my grandfather. My father and my uncles did not want the old man in the shop. They would tell him, “You just rest, or you can go for a walk.” But there were customers who would ask for him, and they would say, “We will come back when he comes.” The problem was that he was not a businessman.
He would simply say, “This commodity costs ten rupees to us and I am not asking for more than ten percent profit. That means it will cost eleven rupees to you. Are you hesitant even to give me ten percent profit? Then how are we going to survive and live?” And people would immediately make the deal with him.
But this was a loss in the eyes of my father, my uncles, because they would have started the price at twenty rupees – and then the haggling…And if the customer manages somehow to bring them down to fifteen rupees he feels happy that he has got it for five rupees less. But in fact they have taken four rupees more. So naturally they were pushing my grandfather, “Go away, go to the river, have a good bath. Go to the park, rest. You are old, you need not be here.”
But he would say, “There are customers who know me and who know you. They know one thing about me, that I am not a businessman. And you are business people. And I have told my customers that if I am not around, wait, soon I will be back from wherever they have sent me. I have been telling those customers, ‘Remember one thing: whether the watermelon falls on the knife or the knife falls on the watermelon, it is always the watermelon that is cut into pieces, not the knife. So beware of the business people.’” He had his own customers, who would not agree even to talk, even to say what they had come for; they would sit. They would say, “Let the old man come.”
Business also can be done with a sincerity, with an authenticity, with a truthfulness; it does not necessarily require you to be cunning, to be exploiting, to be cheating. So don’t ask for any synthesis between “taking care of a business – continuity, commitment and responsibility,” and “being in the moment, freedom and spontaneity, which the hearts longs for.”
Listen to the heart, because it is finally the heart that is going to decide the caliber of your being, the very growth of your consciousness, and finally the transcendence that leads you and your awareness beyond death. Anything else is simply mundane. What is your commitment? A man of understanding avoids stupid commitments. What is your continuity? – because your father and your forefathers had been doing the business, so you have also to do it, the same way as they have been doing it. Are you here just to repeat the past?
Don’t you have the courage to introduce the new and to drop the past and the old and the rotten, to bring a fresh breeze into your life and into the lives of those who are concerned with you in some way? What is your continuity? There is no question…In fact you have to be discontinuous every moment, not only with the past of others – your fathers and forefathers – you have to discontinue even with your own past every moment. The moment that is gone, is gone. You don’t have any obligation to continue and carry a corpse of a dead moment.